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  • Article
    27 december 1997

    At the beginning of 1997 the Minister for Equal Opportunities Affairs, Labour
    Law and Working Hours appointed the director general of the National
    Institute of Economic Research, Svante Öberg, as a special investigator with
    the task of proposing measures to promote a satisfactory system of pay
    determination (SE9704111F [1]). On 27 November 1997, he presented his first
    results (Medlingsinstitut och lönestatistikSOU 1997:164).

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/new-rules-for-pay-determination-claimed-to-lead-to-better-agreements

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    At the beginning of December 1997, the Austrian Government announced plans
    for a "clean workplace campaign" (Aktion sauberer Arbeitsplatz) aimed at
    combating illegal employment. The main objective is to get a better grip on
    taxable income but a secondary aim is clearly to please the social partners
    after 1997's acrimonious pensions debate (AT9709134N [1]). At the Ministry of
    Labour, Health and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit
    und Soziales, BMAGS), six working groups were set up with a remit to devise
    tighter controls and more adequate penalties. In all working groups, the
    social partners are included along with representatives of various
    ministries.

    [1] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/pensions-reform-remains-a-divisive-issue

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    After more than eight months of negotiations, new collective agreements were
    concluded in November and December 1997 for the 1.8 million or so employees
    in the west German retail trade, ending the 1997 collective bargaining round.
    New agreements were concluded in most regional bargaining areas between the
    trade union responsible, Gewerkschaft Handel Banken Versicherungen (HBV), and
    the regional employers' associations - which are members of the national peak
    employers' association for the retail trade, Hauptverband des Deutschen
    Einzelhandels (HDE).

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Denmark has experienced five years of uninterrupted economic recovery, and in
    1997 economic growth was estimated at approximately 3%. This has led to
    sizeable reductions in unemployment rates which have few parallels in Europe
    during this decade. Unemployment has been reduced from a record-high rate of
    12.4% in 1993 to 7.4% in December 1997 - a reduction equal to 205,800
    unemployed persons. The reduction has been beneficial for all groups, and
    especially for women. These positive tendencies are mirrored by an
    improvement in general government finances. Denmark will be one of the first
    countries in Europe to be able to show a surplus on the general government
    account in 1997. The current surplus of 0.7% is expected to increase to DKK
    14 billion (ECU 1.9 billion) or 1.2% of GDP in 1998. Inflation stood at 1.9%
    in 1997.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    The Irish economy has performed exceptionally well in recent years, with
    annual GNP growth averaging 6%-7% between 1994 and 1996 and standing at 6.6%
    in 1997, according to Eurostat figures. This has resulted in increased
    prosperity and living standards, and these trends are forecast to continue
    over the short to medium term. Inflation averaged 2.2% over 1994-6, and is
    expected to remain at around 2% in the foreseeable future (Eurostat puts the
    1997 figure at 1.2%). The General Government Deficit was reduced from 2.2 %
    of GDP in 1993 to around 1.5% in 1996 - Eurostat estimates a public surplus
    of 0.9% of GDP in 1997 - while the debt/GDP ratio fell from 94% in 1993 to
    76% at the end of 1996 - 66.3% in 1997, according to Eurostat. The strong
    performance of the economy has resulted in significant employment growth.
    Indeed, total employment increased by an average of over 45,000 per year
    between 1993 and 1996, while the unemployment rate declined from almost 17%
    in 1993 to just under 13% in 1996 and (according to Eurostat) 10.2% in 1997.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Following the special Jobs Summit [1] which took place in Luxembourg on 20-21
    November 1997 (EU9711168F [2]), the European Commission adopted a final
    proposal for Guidelines for Member States' employment policies for 1998 [3]
    on 3 December 1997. The proposal, which was adopted by the Council of Labour
    and Social Affairs Ministers on 15 December 1997 (EU9712175N [4]), launches
    the European employment strategy agreed at the Amsterdam European Council
    meeting in June 1997 (EU9706133N [5]). These guidelines now have to be
    incorporated into national employment action plans drawn up by the Member
    States in the form of national objectives. Member States are committed to
    submitting these plans in time for their examination by the European Council
    meeting to take place in Cardiff in June 1998. The implementation of these
    guidelines will be monitored regularly and an annual report will be produced
    by the Commission. This approach draws on the existing practice of
    multiannual surveillance established after the December 1994 Essen summit, to
    monitor the implementation of the recommendation drawn up at that meeting.

    [1] http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/elm/summit/en/home.htm
    [2] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/employment-summit-agrees-limited-package-of-measures-to-combat-unemployment
    [3] http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/elm/summit/en/papers/guide2.htm
    [4] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/social-affairs-council-adopts-directive-to-implement-part-time-work-agreement
    [5] www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/amsterdam-summit-agrees-new-draft-treaty

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    Toyota, the Japan-based motor manufacturer, has a UK plant at Burnaston in
    Derbyshire, which is said to have the third-highest productivity levels of
    any car plant in Europe. It was widely expected that the company would
    continue its investment in the UK by building a new plant aimed at production
    for the small-car market in that country. However, on 10 December 1997, the
    announcement was made that the GBP 400 million assembly plant, which is
    likely to create over 2,000 jobs, will be built in Valenciennes, northern
    France.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    In November 1997, Luxembourg's Social Institute hosted a debate involving
    trade unions and employers on the Government's plan to introduce "dependence
    insurance", to cover against becoming dependent through disability, illness
    or age.

  • Article
    27 december 1997

    An agreement was concluded on 10 October 1997 between Norway Post and the
    Joint Federation of Postal Employees.The latter is the cooperation body for
    the two unions that organise the majority of employees in the postal service,
    the Norwegian Union of Postal Employees (DNP) and the Norwegian Union of
    Postal Workers (NPF), both of which are affiliated to the Norwegian
    Confederation of Trade Unions (LO). The agreement aims at creating a new
    infrastructure for postal operations, which involves a reduction in the
    number of sorting offices in operation. Also included in this agreement are
    measures to safeguard the jobs of approximately 1,500 employees adversely
    affected by this reorganisation.

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Forthcoming publications